Celebrating 100 Years of Oakland Technical High School
Charles Hayes ’70
My father (Louisiana) came to Oakland for shipyard and train jobs. My mother (Texas) came to be with her father in California. I grew up in North Oakland, the Temescal area. I loved Tech from when I was a Woodrow Wilson Jr. High student. Tech was the “melting pot” of all of the high schools in Oakland. All of the races and exchange students came to Tech. This was the “time of Aquarius.” I loved almost all of my fellow students and call them my friends to this day. The teachers were great too. They were aware of the times (60’s) that we were facing (Black Panthers, civil rights, and community awareness). I only had good times at Tech. I was involved in almost everything (sports, newspaper, drama, music, and clubs). Mr. Echols was my favorite teacher. Mrs. Ida La Blanc, Ms. “e”, and Ms. Evans were great too.
At Tech, I learned my early life lessons about love and friendships. After high school and college, I became a professional photographer (I learned photography at Tech) and today I am a Solano County Sheriff.
I made a lot of friends at Tech. I had the “high school dream”– my girlfriend was the head cheerleader (Stephanie Lee). My best friends were: Royce Harrison and Pernell Brown. I am in touch with almost all of my friends. I also work on the class reunions and other gatherings. I wish we had a stronger alumni [network] like Mack has.
At Tech I learned how to work hard to get to an end, to respect others, and to love life. My motto is: “Don’t ever grow too old; stay young at heart!”
I bleed purple and gold. I love being a Bulldog to this day. College was cool (San Diego State), but high school was the “hit.”
I wish I could be around for the 150th year. Hey, maybe I can !!!
My advice to current students is: enjoy your experience, because life is coming at you in full force after you graduate. Work hard and get a good education so life can be easy and with less stress.